Urban Basics

Getting back to basics in an urban setting

Victory gardens and scrap gardening

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What the heck is a scrap garden? Well, its a garden that is put into small unused spaces. Most major cities have strips of land that owners have to maintain in front of their house but are actually owned by the city. Strips of land between a sidewalk and the street… This is prime scrap garden space. Empty lots or unused land also have land that could be turned into a community scrap garden.
Victory gardens, also known as war gardens, were used during World War I and II to help offset the pressure on the public food supply. These Victory gardens were planted in private yards and public parks all over the country. As the cost of living sky rockets, why are we not planting more victory gardens and learning how to garden on small scraps of land?
Have you seen gas prices lately? It is so crazy high! Cars are a necessity and almost everyone has one. But do you know what uses gas that is not a necessity? Lawn mowers. Why do we as Americans insist on cultivating acre after acre of grass? Then, we have to mow it every week, using fuel to do it. Then gallons of round up and chemical fertilizers are dumped on it each year just to keep it as green and pretty as the guy next door?
This is insane!!! Plant food.
Instead of planting shrubs along your house, Why not grow Rhubarb or Sage? Sage gets very large and shrub-like and produces a flaming red flowers that is very beautiful. sasp2537

Rhubarb grows very large and has big pretty leaves. The plus to this? Its edible! Sage is a grate herb to cook with. You can harvest it and dry it for cooking during the cold season. Basil is also great. It is fragrant and one of my favorite Herbs. Try planting mint as a ground cover or Oregano and Thyme as decorative plants instead of non-edible alternatives? We use these plants in our front yard in our decorative flower beds. Alliums or any other plant from the Onion family are great at any stage of growth and the flowers are beautiful.
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Instead of all that lawn in your back yard, why not plant edible plants? You can make pathways and small garden beds and make it just as beautiful if not more so then all that grass. Instead of unsightly fences why not plant bamboo? It grows quickly and can be used as privacy screens and cut and used as trellises. Bamboo is a great building material for any yard. No one can tell me that, if done right, an edible garden can not be beautiful!
Here is a link to a blog of a woman who planted a front yard garden. Its pretty dang nice!
http://shawnacoronado.com/2012/08/how-i-built-a-hot-damn-happy-front-lawn-vegetable-garden-in-a-drought-year/
And here is an article on beautiful edible landscaping:
http://ww2.producer.com/blogs/global_farmer/wordpress/?p=1198

Turning your yard into an edible oasis is great on your pocket book too. Your savings at the grocery store is a huge plus and you wont have to buy all that fuel for your lawn mower or pesticides that do more harm then good. There is no reason, at least in my opinion, that these chemicals should ever touch your yard. There are many other ways to combat pests and weeds!
I would love to make my front or back yard into an edible garden oasis but I can’t. We currently rent our home and do not have permission to take out the lawn. The landlord pays someone weekly to come mow my yard. This is so silly!! I wouldn’t mind keeping a small patch of grass for the swing set my kids use and the area around it for running and playing ball, but the rest would be better used as garden space for edible plants. Since I can not turn my yard into an edible landscape, we put in raised garden beds in a small portion of the yard and we produce an amazing amount of food in 700 sq feet.

Even a small garden would be great. Think of how much food could be grown if every single yard in America had just one 4X8 garden bed? That is a lot of food!
What about that strip of grass by the road? Instead of just rocks or grass, why not plant food? Take a look around your house. Is there unused space in your side yard? What about behind the shed in the back yard? If there is unused space, that is prime scrap garden space and use it to grow food!!
If every single person found a small scrap of land to grow just three plants for food, then every community would be much better off!
I never grew Okra until I moved to the south. I was amazed at how pretty an Okra plant is when it flowers. 2012 216
Why not add Basil or Okra to your flower garden? Plant Lavender next to your Black eyed Susans.

More edible plants equals less starvation, less lawns that need pesticides and fuel, and a whole lot more sustainability.
Think about how many seeds just one bean or tomato plant can produce. It’s a lot of seeds. Seeds that can produce many other plants for many people.

I have a challenge for you!
I challenge every person to plant three different edible plants. Just three. Then learn everything you can about them and learn to save the seeds. Then I want you to give your seeds to at least three other people and challenge them to do the same! Maybe get together with your neighbor and decide on three different plants each then you can swap the seeds and have six different edible plants next season. The cost for the first set of seeds is minimal and if you learn to save the seeds and pass them on, then the cost of getting seeds becomes free over time.
I would love to see pictures of your scrap garden so send them my way.
Happy planting!

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Author: stephdt3

My 3 children and I live on 14 acres in Savannah Ga. I have worked hard at turning the property into a thriving, self sufficient homestead. It has been a learning experience and a lot of hard work but its so worth it. I don't understand how our country became so consumer driven. We have lost so much of our production way of life. It is my goal to get back to basics any way that I can. My three children used be so hooked on TV, video games, computers, iphones and ipads. And while they still like those things, they now spend just as much time outside as they do inside. I hope by learning to raise chickens and rabbits, growing gardens, raising goats and riding horses and spending more time outdoors in general, my children will learn to love and appreciate a simpler way of life. I knew nothing about homesteading when I started this journey but I have learned so much and love every minute of it.

One thought on “Victory gardens and scrap gardening

  1. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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